The state has reported new Covid cases including the XBB, a new sub-variant of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has been detected in parts of India, including Kerala.
Apart from this, Maharashtra has reported cases from other sub-variants of Omicron- BA.2.3.20 and BQ.1 variant, which was detected for the first time in India on Monday from the sample of a patient in Pune.
XBB, a recombinant lineage between two Omicron sublineages BJ.1 and BA.2.75, is a fast-spreading variant, which was seen to have caused a spike across Singapore recently.
As per the Maharashtra Health Department report, the XBB, has a growth advantage over BA.2.75 and evasive immune properties.
According to statistics the new Covid cases are expected to increase in the state in the October 10-16 period this week by 17.7 per cent as compared to the period between October 3-9. This rise is noticed in Thane, Raigad and Mumbai says the official release from the health department.
On October 17, India detected its first case of Omicron’s BQ.1 subvariant in a sample of a patient from Pune. The BQ.1 is a descendant of BA.5, which is behind the 60 per cent Covid cases in the United States (US), as per reports.
Some experts from the health department predict a rise in the coming winter season, especially in a festive environment. In Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS), BA.2.75 decreased to 76 per cent from 95 per cent.
Maharashtra’s health department and experts have asked not to ignore flu-like symptoms and seek medical advice at the earliest. They have advised observing Covid Appropriate behaviour in public places and getting vaccinated as per Government of India guidelines. Experts from the department suggest that people with comorbidities need to take extra precautions while visiting public places. People suffering from Influenza-like illnesses should avoid public contact as much as possible.
Meanwhile, the Kerala government on October 17 held a high-level meeting under health minister Veena George and said it is intensifying preventive measures in view of the new genetic variations of COVID-19 (XBB and XBB1) being reported from other parts of the world.
“Necessary instructions have been given to all the districts. The new strain is more contagious than any other strain of Covid-19 so far. Hence the resistance is strengthened. About 1.8 percent of those infected may require hospital treatment. There is no cause for concern at present. But everyone should be careful. Everyone should wear mask properly for self protection. Masks must be worn by the elderly and those with co-morbidities. The minister requested that masks should be worn at the airport and in closed places,” the Kerala health department said.
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